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State v. Chester

133 Wash. 2d 15, 940 P.2d 1374 (1997)

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State v. Chester

Washington Supreme Court

133 Wash. 2d 15, 940 P.2d 1374 (1997)

Facts

Gary Chester (defendant) secretly filmed his 14-year-old stepdaughter while she was dressing in her bedroom after a shower. Chester hid the camera under his stepdaughter’s bed. The video Chester recorded showed the stepdaughter both naked and partially clothed. The State of Washington (plaintiff) charged Chester with sexual exploitation of a minor. At trial, Chester admitted he expected the hidden camera to capture his stepdaughter in varying states of undress. The jury convicted Chester of sexual exploitation of a minor and further held that Chester’s decision to surreptitiously record his stepdaughter was sexually motivated. Chester appealed, and the appellate court reversed, holding that Chester’s conviction was based on insufficient evidence because (1) the state did not prove Chester caused his stepdaughter to expose herself for the camera; and (2) the criminal statute did not cover a parent secretly filming a naked child without the child’s knowledge. The state appealed, arguing that Washington’s criminal sexual-exploitation-of-children statute prohibited all photographs and videos of children taken for sexual purposes.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Guy, J.)

Dissent (Alexander, J.)

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